Data Centers prepare for Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy arrives on the US East Coast, service providers are taking all possible measures to protect their data centers located in the region. Some of them such as AT&T have started locating critical equipment to less vulnerable areas and are upgrading critical network infrastructure in an attempt to protect all their physical facilities against flooding or water logging.
To help maximize network reliability during a storm, companies such as AT&T, Rackspace, and Verizon have just concluded staging additional emergency response equipment in strategic locations near the anticipated landfall, including additional generators, fuel tankers, and putting third party vendors and suppliers on standby. They have also ensured adequate staff to offer round the clock services and have prepared emergency overnight kits that include inflatable mattresses, blankets, towels, etc.
All the data centers are stocked with food, medical, and drink. Few of them have military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and plenty of bottled water in case the stacked food gets spoiled or washed away. They have made every possible measure to ensure that critical staff is on-site, their data center infrastructure and staff is safe. These measures are to be implemented during and after the storm.
Jacques Greyling, vice president, global data center infrastructure at Rackspace reported that they are stepping towards a safe data center infrastructure if even the Hurricane Sandy hit the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Rackspace believes two Northern Virginia data centers-IAD1 in Herndon and IAD2 in Ashburn-are the most likely to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Northern Virginia is inside the projected forecast area, but is not expected to get hit directly.
In an effort to overcome the impact of power outages, in the mid-Atlantic and northeast region, data center companies have filled their generator fuel tanks and those generators can run for near around 60-72 hours without refueling. Not only this, they have deployed special measures to refuel the generators while running. They have also implemented emergency fuel supply contracts coupled with generator maintenance and repair vendor.
According to a Dow Jones newswire report, Amazon.com prepared its web services division by following a storm-preparedness plan honed through several years of experience coping with bad weather, a spokeswoman said. Amazon web services rents data storage and computing capacity from its facilities to hundreds of thousands of customers.
In an another official release, AIT, Inc said it has secured its US East Coast data center facilities in preparation for Hurricane Sandy and will also offer a free month of hosting for companies who experience downtime or data loss with any other hosting company due to Hurricane Sandy. AIT’s CEO Clarence Briggs quoted in the press release, since 1999, AIT has encountered an average of 1 to 2 hurricanes per year passing through the area and has experienced no downtime due to those storms.

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